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AUS students explore Japanese culture
Thirty-five students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) returned from a successful cultural trip to Japan, which took place from June 11 to 17. The trip was organized by the Office of Student Affairs' Student Multicultural Learning Program. The students toured the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Chiba Ken and Shizuoka Ken.
The students stayed in Tokyo, the country's capital and one of the fastest growing and most advanced cities in the world. With its skyscrapers and highly populated suburbs, it still holds on to its ancient culture. The Tokyo tour included visits of cultural sites such as the Meiji Shrine and Imperial Palace Plaza. Students also had the chance to visit modern and technological locations such as the Tokyo Tower, Akihabara Electric Town and the Sony Building.
Travelling by the Nozomi bullet train, the students visited Kyoto, Japan's former imperial capital. Kyoto is host to the country's major cultural attractions and is the seventh largest city of Japan. In Kyoto, the students had a traditional Japanese lunch and visited the Kinkakuji and Kiyomizu temples. The students also visited the "Golden Pavilion," the historical residence of the "Shogun" or general, the highest military figure in ancient Japan.
From Tokyo to Shizuoka Ken, a two and a half hour bus ride took the students 2,300 meters above sea level to reach the Mt. Fuji 5th station. Mt. Fuji 5th station offers a commanding view of the Fuji Five Lakes and provides an observation point with unobstructed views of Fujiyoshida City and Lake Yamanaka. Mt. Fuji is Japan's highest mountain. On the entertainment side, the students visited Tokyo Disneyland in Chiba Ken.
"Now I understand that I should never miss a trip organized by AUS Student Affairs. The trip to Japan helped me become a more social person," said Saeed Al Noman Al Shamsi, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering.
"This experience has taught us a great deal about the Japanese culture. The amount of respect the Japanese have for each other and for foreigners is unlike any other culture. Waking up every day to the same friends and going together as a group to diverse cultural and entertaining destinations was more than just fun; these were memories that will be cherished forever," said Zahra Al Fardan, a junior majoring in finance.
Addressing the students on the way back to the UAE, Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and head of the delegation said, "I thank you all for your cooperation during the trip. Your team spirit ensured the success of this trip. I am definite that you have gained a comprehensive insight of the various social, cultural and technological aspects of the Japanese society. I encourage you all to make you use of these practical experiences for your personal and professional growth."
The AUS delegation was accompanied by Munketh Taha, Director of Student Development and Organizations, and event supervisors Virgilio Mateo Jr. and Raja Subramanya.